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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  July 5, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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starting with the at&t all for less package -- just $70 per month, voice plus broadband. it's the at&t network. helping you do what you do... even better. on on the broadcast tonight welcome a stunning verdict in the murder case that has turned into a summer obsession. tonight, some are asking -- did casey anthony just get away with murder? search at sea. they're still looking for the americans missing after their fishing boat capsized and from the survivors, there are harrowing stories. >> eating disorders for a growing number of women. a crisis arrives during an unusual time in life. northern exposure. the royal couple stealing the show to our north and they're on route here. and a star at the white house. you may never have noticed. "nightly news" begins now. now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. as trials go, the casey anthony case blew up before our very eyes, becoming an ongoing obsession of the summer of 2011. for whatever reason, millions of people followed the case of this young woman, who waited over a month to report her 2-year-old daughter was missing. later found dead. and who was caught in a number of lies along the way. after a trial that lasted just over a month, when the jury came back with a verdict after just 11 hours of deliberations, a guilty verdict was assumed by the experts. but that is not what happened in the courtroom today because, of course, guilt must be proven. we begin here tonight with nbc kerry sanders in orlando, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. it took the 12-member jury just under 11 hours to reach their verdict -- not guilty on all three felony counts. >> will the defendant rise, along with council?
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>> reporter: 25-year-old casey anthony stood in the courtroom, no color in her face as the clerk read the verdict. >> as to the charge of first-degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury, find the defendant not guilty. >> reporter: on the charge of aggravated child abuse. >> we the jury find the defendant not guilty. >> reporter: and on the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child. >> we the jury find the defendant not guilty, so say we all. >> reporter: casey anthony took a deep breath and then began to cry as the clerk announced the jury's decision on four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty. >> reporter: she could face four years in prison on those charges but today, casey was celebrating, embracing her legal team. >> oh, my god! oh, my god! >> reporter: the "not guilty" verdict stunned those watching this case. >> this system has failed miserably. >> reporter: angry because those who tuned in to all or part of this 36-day trial expected a
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different outcome. >> it's not right. this is wrong. this is bad. >> reporter: the trial verdict was watched around the world, and even at 24,000 feet, a verdict won by lead defense attorney, jose baez. >> there are no winners in this case. >> reporter: who said 2-year-old caylee anthony's death should not be lost in her mother's acquittal. >> caylee has passed on, far, far too soon. casey did not murder caylee. it's that simple. >> reporter: if convicted she could have faced the death penalty. >> the best feeling i have today is i know i can go home and my daughter will ask me -- what did you do today? and i can say -- i saved a life. >> reporter: prosecutors jeff ashton and linda drane berdick. they did not comment. >> we're disappointed with the verdict today. >> their boss and state attorney, lawson lamar. >> i never, ever criticize a jury. theirs is the task of deciding what to believe. >> reporter: the lead prosecutor in this case, jeff ashton, announced this will be his last case.
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he is now retiring. the jurors were given an opportunity to comment. they chose not to. they are, tonight, on their way back home to st. petersburg, florida. about 100 miles from here. they've been sequestered in orlando. cindy and george anthony released a statement from their attorney that reads in part -- while the family may never know what happened to caylee marie anthony they now have closure for this chapter of their life. brian? >> kerry sanders starting us off in orlando, thanks. we're joined here in the studio by our friend from "today on nbc" savannah guthrie, former white house correspondent for us and long-time lawyer as someone that's covered a lot of these trials and you made a point with me earlier today about the law that i found so interesting. it applies directly to what we witnessed. >> so many people are disappointed and think -- how could the jury come back with "not guilty" verdict. i made the point that in the
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law. a not guilty verdict is not the same as a guilty verdict. as saying that casey anthony is innocent. we haven't heard from the jurors. but they may have been deeply suspicious of her. they may not like casey anthony. but at the end of the day they know the law requires them to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. they go back to the jury room with thick instructions on the law from the judge. they have too find every element of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt and at the end of the day it's clear they didn't think they had sufficient proof. >> and in court we never heard the means of this murder proven. >> at the end of the day there were huge gaps in evidence. when did this child die? how did this child die? it's one thing to talk about a case around the kitchen table. it is quite another to be a juror deliberating a life-or-death decision in a court of law. say what you will. they gave up six weeks of their lives. moved away from their home and came back with what they thought the evidence dictated. >> such an awful tragedy among this media mayhem. thanks for coming by. now to the drama unfolding off the coast of mexico where
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searchers are looking for seven americans who were on board a fishing charter when it capsized on sunday before dawn. meanwhile, some of the survivors are telling their own stories about living through the ordeal. nbc's miguel almaguer is in san felipe, mexico. >> reporter: the mexican navy circles above the sea of cortez, the frantic search entered its third day. joined today by the u.s. coast guard, searching for seven americans. 35 men escaped from the fishing boat erik at sea. today the authorities identified the body of up with of the passengers as leslie yee. >> it lowered itself into the water, like the titan i believe. >> charles gibson swam for 16 hours to shore. others were plucked to safety as they bobbed in the ocean for nearly a day. one man died. >> the waves were huge and monsterous. the wind was blowing about 50 or 60 miles an hour.
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it was pretty scary. >> this 70-year-old, miller, was tossed from the deck and he said a pair of 40-foot waves slammed into the ship. the second impact so powerful it capsized in seconds. >> when you see it in a movie you can't believe it happening to you. >> reporter: the erik left for a fishing trip on saturday and was 60 miles south when it sank two miles offshore. some survivors reached one of the many uninhabited islands in the sea of cortez. tonight, there's hope that with warm weather and water, the missing could still be alive. >> i know they're out there searching right now and we hope they continue the search. >> reporter: the crew aboard the erik tell us that when the ship shoved off on saturday the captain was warned not to leave the harbor. if weather, they say, was just too dangerous. >> i'm not leaving. >> gary wong was separated from his brother, brian, as the ship
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sank. today, the husband and father of two, is still missing. >> i'm not leaving until we find my brother, brian. >> reporter: from one boat, stories of survival, death and a desperate search for the missing. miguel almaguer, nbc news, san felipe, mexico. >> and crushing news arrived over the weekend from a beautiful part of this country in montana, yellowstone natnal park. an oil spill that we now know may be larger than first feared, and cleanup, may, as a result, be more difficult than first thought. nbc's george lewis, just outside billings, montana for us. good evening, george. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the people have been hit with a double whammy. the yellowstone river laced with oil is flooding and waters have been rising all day in communities around here. exxonmobil expanded its cleanup effort putting more people in the field. there are 360 workers assigned to the spill as the giant oil company tries to figure out what
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went wrong with its pipeline. >> i really can't speculate on what caused this. it was a very big surprise to us. >> reporter: roaring floodwaters have sent a lot of trees like this crashing into the water. one theory is the flood eroded the soil covering the pipeline allowing debris to strike it causing pipeline to rupture. the montana governor toured the spill area to do, observing the clean jut and promising landowners like jim swanson he'll keep after exxonmobil to get rid of the oil. >> this cleanup is done when the state of montana says it done and i promise you this i'll be on this like smell on skunk until it's done. >> reporter: along another part of the river bank, bob castleberry showed us his flooded home and his land wreaking of crude oil.
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>> when we bought it it was a dream home and we wanted to stay here forever. >> reporter: now the house will be torn down and bob and his wife will have to rebuild on higher ground. the oil stain on the side of his garage is the high watermark from the flooding. bob said he was shocked when he first looked out at the smelly water surrounding his house. >> i shined the spotlight and the river was black with crude oil, just black with crude oil. >> reporter: in spite of promises by the governor and exxonmobil to get the spill cleaned up, no one yet knows how long that will take. and exxon says the oil extends at least 25 miles downstream, although it could go much farther and they are urging homeowners and people along the river bank to make their own observations and call in, brian? >> terrible thing in one of the most beautiful spots in the country. george, thanks. overseas now, the story of a dramatic rescue in western china involving dozens of people who got stuck on a bridge that collapsed after severe mudslides triggered by flooding and heavy rain, all this in seshuan
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province. >> reporter: more than 50 people, workers trying to get home, were trapped. a section of the bridge were hit by the floodwaters swollen by heavy days of rain. we're worried that the bridge won't hold any longer, said this rescuer, so we're trying to rescue them as quickly as possible. workers rigged a cable over the river to pull people to safety, one by one. but the prospect of dangling over the raging river left some so terrified they refused to even try it. so rescuers improvised a plan b, bringing in a large crane and using a bucket to give the rest an unforgettable ride across the river to safety. it's been raining here since thursday, triggering flooding
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and mudslides, leaving at least six people dead and forcing thousands to evacuate. and there's been no letup. forecasters predict more severe rain storms across western china over the next three days leaving many here at the mercy of mother nature. nbc news, beijing. back in this country now to the nation's capitol and the question tonight, who will blink in this showdown going on between the president and congress over america's debt crisis? in less than a month, the united states will not be able to pay its debts unless something changes here which is why the congress has been called back from vacation this week. why the president made a rare appearance this afternoon in the white house briefing room. nbc's kristen welker was there. good evening, kristen. >> reporter: good evening, brian. president obama said lawmakers
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need to move out of their comfort zone in terms of dealing with the debt ceiling. he announced he invited congressional leaders of both parties to the white house on thursday to discuss this issue. and he challenged them to get out to leave their ultimatum at the door. >> now, i've heard reports that there may be some in congress who want to do just enough to make sure that america avoids defaulting on our debt in the short term, but then wants to kick the can down the road when it comes to solving the larger problem of our deficit. i don't share that view. >> reporter: now, the president had said that he would agree to cuts in domestic spending with in defense spending and entitlements but said republicans need to come to the table in terms of rolling back tax breaks for wealthy americans and big corporations. to date they said they wouldn't support anything that resembles a tax increase. in fact, this evening, speaker boehner released a statement saying an increase in taxes would be bad for jobs and just won't pass the house. brian? >> kristen welker who was there
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for the president's statement. thanks. new research tonight about autism, a complex disorder, extraordinarily difficult, of course, for the families that struggle with it. naturally, one of the big questions is -- what causes it? what makes some children autistic? for a long time, the best understanding has been it's a function somehow, of genetics. but tonight, new research suggests that what researchers call "environmental factors" may play at least as big a role. >> i think this is a really exciting first step for us, you know, to really start to delve into the environmental risk factor for autism and i think the difference is that once identified you can actually do something about it so we can actually, potentially, start thinking about prevention down the road. >> the next step, obviously, in this, is to determine which environmental factors may be at play. the best guess right now, according to this, is that they include things that happen early on in life, such as the age of a
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child's parents when the child is conceived, low birth weight. whether a child is part of a multiple birth or, perhaps, any infections a mother may have during her pregnancy. up next as "nightly news" continued on a tuesday night, if you think you know the risk group for eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, you may be surprised who is showing up in growing numbers to get help. >> and two newlyweds wowing the crowds north of the border. newlyweds wowing the crowds north of the border. tends to stay in motion.inn staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function
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so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion.
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didn't taste so vegetably? well, v8 v-fusion juice gives you a full serving of vegetables, plus a full serving of fruit. but it just tastes like fruit. and try our deliciously refreshing v8 v-fusion + tea. i love the fact that quicken loans provides va loans. quicken loans understood all the details and guided me through every step of the process. i know wherever the military sends me, i can depend on quicken loans. news tonight about women's health. while much of the spotlight is on obesity, the fact is millions of women are starving themselves, suffering from debilitating, sometimes, even fatal disorders. and increasingly, experts say it's not just young women who are struggling with these eating disorders.
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our report tonight from our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman. come on in, kerry, sit down. >> reporter: kerry didn't expect to be here, in treatment for a eating disorder at the age of 41. >> you don't fit into these pair of pants so you're a big fat cow. >> but here she is. after a desperate intervention from family members last christmas. >> my sister said, kerry, you are spiralling out of control. >> what made you hear them? >> i wanted to. i was ready. i'm 41 years old. and it's just time. i was tired. >> reporter: a cascade of traumatic event in mid-life is a typical trigger for eating disorders in women over 30. >> i didn't realize i still had a eating disorder. >> and for kerry, a recently divorced mom and a struggling small business owner, eating or not eating was the one thing she could control. >> i was losing hair. my gums were bleeding. broken bones. i had lost my period for three years and i didn't care. what mattered was the scale.
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>> the body you have now, do you like it? >> i'm learning to. >> reporter: learning while in treatment. three days a week at the renfrew center in ridgewood, new jersey. >> i'm exciting that i'm getting my hunger queues back. >> reporter: they have devised a program specifically for women 35-plus. after seeing an increase in some 42% in patients that age, since 2001. >> clinicians across the board are more sensitive to these issues. more likely to ask a woman older, what's going on with your eating? you look like you lost weight? i'm worried about you. >> reporter: experts say it can be a life-long journey back and for kerry, it is one day at a time. what do you want other women to know? >> that recovery is possible and that it's so much better than living in the disease. >> reporter: dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news, ridgewood, new jersey. up next here tonight, news about something you've seen on this broadcast many times but, perhaps, never really noticed.
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and a self-portrait tonight that must be seen to be believed.
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this is easily our favorite story of the day. prize-winning british photographer, david slater traveled to a indonesian island to the track down and rare and endangeringed species, the crested black macaque. he said he was instantly befriended with him.
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they walked with him for days. they were fascinated by his equipment and when he handed over his camera, this is what happened. a fantastic self-portrait and it gets better. a beautiful photo that's a lovely smile. and in light of all the unsavory photos in the news of late, why not a picture of pure joy that only a mother crested black macaque could love. tonight a tree is in the news and while it's just one tree in a nation of trees, you've seen this tree without knowing it more times, perhaps, than any other tree on television. the tree in question is in the background. for so many of our live reports from the white house as you can see going back to the beginning of the republic, right up until present day, the elm tree is in the news because it was heavily damaged, sadly, by a big storm over the weekend.
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it was trimed back today. we're afraid that there are plans to cut it down later this week. up next here tonight, while it's not your average summer vacation, turning into a great summer break for two of the most photographed people in the world.
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as we said a moment ago, it's not your average summer vacation but the heir to the british thrown and his newly-wed wife are thrilling the crowds in canada doing the things you do there, all of it a run-up to the visit to the u.s., just days from now. our report tonight from nbc's peter alexander. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: it's been quite the honeymoon tour for the world's most famous newlyweds. who else could enjoy hey carriage ride and lobster on the shore of prince edward island one day and be serenaded just beneath the arctic circle next. william offered a simple thank you in an indigenous dialect. >> we're so excited to be here. [ speaking if foreign language ] [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: here in the northern birth place of hockey, canada's national sport, another royal welcome for the duke and duchess of the cambridge.
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kate won fans just by dropping the puck. william went 0 for 3 with calvin lowman. >> i'm still speechless. >> yes. >> reporter: yellowknife, the capital of the remote region five times the size of the united kingdom but with a small population of just 41,000, like mary lou murphy. >> it's a wonderful experience. >> reporter: the prince and his new bride have dazzled crowds at every stop. kate impressing observers with her natural confidence and fashion sense, showcasing star quality that's recapturing interest in britain's monarchy. like the moment on monday when the couple returned to the dock looking less like royalty and more like newlyweds. one of the highlights for the couple will be flying aboard a plane like this, where they he -- they head to a secluded wilderness lodge. tonight, this increasingly public couple will share a private, quiet dinner. peter alexander, nbc news, yellowknife. that's our broadcast for
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this tuesday night. thanks for being here. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you back here tomorrow night. and one more look at how new yorkers brought in the 4th last night. good night from all of us here. -- captions by vitac -- good evening. i'm marla, in for raj. >> i'm jessica. we begin with breaking news. we want to take you to tracy, where crews are working to contain a brush fire happening right now. we're looking at it live from our chopper around 4:30 this evening. the area we're talking about is off highway 580, the main th